Move over walnuts, almonds, and pecans, because there is a new nut in town, and it’s ready to show off all its nutty benefits.
Meet the chestnut, a nut you’re likely familiar with, you’ve probably come across them a few times in your life, but like many you’ve never tried one. And if you’re like most, you might only know that they can be eaten because of the Christmas song.
But if you’re looking for a healthy nut that provides different health benefits compared to your average nut, then you should look into including them in your diet.
If you’re like us, the food that makes up your diet is not yours alone, and often tiny portions of it are never able to reach your belly because there’s a four-legged furry monster we call dogs laying by your feet pleading for it.
If you don’t know, but we bet you do, dogs love nuts, and fortunately, most nuts are completely fine to give your dog. And when your pup sees you eating those healthy chestnuts, they’re going to wonder if you’re going to share.
So, can you give your dog chestnuts? It’s a smart question to ask since some nuts are quite dangerous for dogs. Let’s find out.
Benefits of Chestnuts
When we humans are looking to give our diets a healthy boost, chestnuts make a fantastic addition.
They are high in fiber, which is great for improving digestion. They have complex kinds of carbohydrates, which are great for re-energizing yourself when the day starts to wear you down.
Last, we can’t forget about their rich helping of vitamins for healthier tissue and plentiful amounts of copper for invigorating the red blood cells.
It’s simple, the benefits of chestnuts for us are picture clear.
Are chestnuts low carb?
Unlike many other nuts, chestnuts are more carbohydrates than fat. But don’t fret because it’s a complex type of carbohydrate.
Plus, since they are more carbs than fat, they are significantly lower in calories than high-fat nuts like walnuts and imposter nuts like the peanut (legume).
1 gram of fat equals a whopping 9 calories, while 1 gram of carbohydrates only equals 4 calories.
Can Dogs Eat Chestnuts
While chestnuts are not inherently toxic to dogs, there is the likelihood that they can make your dog sick if given too many.
A dog’s digestive system isn’t well suited for ingesting high amounts of nuts and seeds, as they’ve never been a regular part of their diet both pre and post domestication.
High-fat nuts like macadamia nuts may cause pancreatitis if given regularly to a dog, while high-carbohydrate nuts like chestnuts have a significant amount of starch that can cause an allergic reaction if given to a dog who has food sensitivities.
Are roasted chestnuts safe for dogs?
Aww, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, sound wonderful, doesn’t it? I mean, I wouldn’t actually know as I’ve never done it, but it sounds like a splendid idea, and it’s now on the bucket list.
So when that happens, can I give my dog some of my homemade roasted chestnuts?
Yes, I can, as roasted chestnuts are safe. However, they are often loaded with salt and other seasonings that aren’t the best to give to your puppy. But when making them ourselves, we can set aside a few plain ones for our pupper.
Can Dogs Eat Water Chestnuts
They sure can! Just make sure to limit it to one or two slices, and preferably the fresh kind, as the canned version is often high in sodium. As well, peel off the skin before serving.
They are a better choice to give to your dog than a regular chestnut, but they are incredibly starchy as well, which makes them inappropriate to give in large amounts. There is a lot of debate about how much starch is too much for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Horse Chestnuts
They look similar to the edible kind, but their different origins make them a hazard to your dog. Horse chestnuts often called conkers, contain aesculin, which is known to be toxic to dogs.
Aesculin and horse chestnuts aren’t just toxic to dogs but can also make humans and other animals, including cats, extremely sick. Play it safe and learn the difference between horse chestnuts and sweet chestnuts.
Can Dogs Eat Chestnut Shells?
You should never deliberately give your dog chestnut shells to eat. The shells are often hard and can splinter, making them a hazard to your dog’s gastrointestinal system.
Can Cats Eat Chestnuts
Just like with dogs, chestnuts are not known to be toxic to cats. However, you want to give your cat even smaller portions of chestnuts than you would to your dog — relative to their size.
This is because a cat’s diet is more carnivore-based than dogs’ is — who have evolved to handle an omnivore diet, and that includes higher levels of carbohydrates. The same can be said about giving your cat a water chestnut.
Chestnuts have a ridiculous amount of starch — we’re talking twice the amount of a potato by volume — and while that’s great for us, it’s not so much for our feline friends.
Will chestnuts make a dog sick?
There are 9 different types of chestnuts with the most common being sweet chestnuts otherwise known as the edible kind you probably imagine when you hear chestnut.
Sweet chestnuts are not toxic to dogs, cats, and especially us, and while they greatly benefit our health, they’re just OK for our dogs and cats.
Sweet chestnuts in small amounts are unlikely to make your dog sick, though, you definitely don’t want to give your dog too many because you can upset their stomach.
If your dog eats too many or they have a digestive system that’s sensitive to starchy carbohydrates, it may experience gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
If you notice any of the above symptoms and are concerned about the severity, you should immediately contact your local veterinarian or animal poison control at 1-800-222-1222 (available 24/7 including holidays).
Alright, let’s wrap up everything we learned. There are several types of chestnuts with sweet chestnuts, water chestnuts, and horse chestnuts being the most common.
Sweet and water chestnuts are safe for dogs, though you would do best to limit your dog’s consumption of them due to their high starch content. Symptoms of high starch consumption in dogs include gas and other digestive issues.
Chestnuts for you, on the other hand, feel free to gobble them down for their range of national benefits.
Horse chestnuts, which resemble sweet chestnuts, are toxic to dogs, and for that matter, toxic to you and most other animals. So keep those little suckers away from the house.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article because, at Tindog, our goal is to keep your pup happy and healthy. As such, if you’re still researching common foods we eat that can be dangerous to a dog, check out Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food